Sheriff's Posse Member Hurt While Assisting Anti-Smuggling Operation

A 71-year-old posse member with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office had to be airlifted to a hospital after he was struck by a minivan while helping with an anti-smuggling operation.

A news release by the sheriff's office states that James Van Allen was treated for broken ribs and a concussion after the collision, which occurred on Monday afternoon while he was parked off Interstate 17 near Daisy Mountain Road.

The release also says that 19 illegal aliens were picked up by the operation. Interestingly, 12 of the 19 were "arrested utilizing the deputies' 287g authority."

As the release mentions, Arpaio isn't sure whether he'll be able to keep the 287 (g) status for some deputies once Homeland Security changes the rules. The status allows his deputies to act as if they were immigrant agents with local law enforcement powers.

Which means he'll have to rely more on old birds like Van Allen.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.

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